Pizza Ranch, a beloved Midwestern chain, has grown steadily since it began franchising in 1984. The brand prides itself on its ambitious buffets, delectable pizza, and drool-worthy chicken, and has done so for more than 40 years. Consumers can find one of Pizza Ranch’s 217 restaurants in 15 states throughout the Midwest.
Brand consistency and communication is a massive task, especially when a restaurant has more than 200 locations to manage. Pizza Ranch’s vision is “to give every guest a legendary experience,” and it found a simple and highly effective system to support that vision. When the brand needed a better way to audit its stores, it partnered with MeazureUp and began using its control monitoring system. This digitized auditing platform simplified the site visit process and streamlined operations for all its restaurants, managers, team members, and franchisees.
“We were doing a 500-point audit with Excel, which frankly was pretty ineffective,” says Darin Olson, director of franchise operations at Pizza Ranch. When restaurant operators must complete audits manually, it’s a time-consuming process, and it takes away time that operators could spend on revenue-generating activities. Pizza Ranch found a way to reinforce and maintain brand consistency with a few taps in a mobile application. “I'd like one company to do everything. MeazureUp is so simple and concise and other companies just didn't have the solution I was looking for,” Olson says.
Making sure restaurant chains put systems in place that support their values and goals is a necessity. Pizza Ranch wanted to find a way to ensure their various franchisees had a coaching mindset with their audits “rather than a ‘gotcha’ mindset,” Olson says. “I changed the whole approach. We have fewer questions, cleanliness is worth more points, but we look at food quality, customer service, and everything else. Our new approach is called the cleanliness service and a comfortable environmental walkthrough,” Olson says.
MeazureUp’s simple framework allowed Olson to reframe the reasoning for conducting audits. Pizza Ranch’s employees are now encouraged to comply with company standards through positive reinforcement. This new strategy has paid off, seen through improved audit scores brandwide: “We're up 7 percentage points, so we're doing really well [there],” Olson says.
Olson was also able to easily identify new opportunities to improve with the help of MeazureUp. “We recognized training was an issue, but we did not know if it was because there was something wrong with our training or if we were not putting enough emphasis on it,” Olson says. Either way, Olson has been able to focus more on improving training now that an opportunity for improvement has been identified.
Pizza Ranch has seen cascading positive effects from the changes it implemented. Managers are freed up to interact with customers and see in real time how the store and team members are performing and if training practices are being implemented.
By being able to highlight opportunities more quickly for improvement and communicate the importance of maintaining brand consistency to employees, restaurants can ensure customers across the country have a consistently great experience at their locations. “The overwhelming feedback from the leadership team is that MeazureUp has made a big difference,” Olson says. By simplifying and streamlining audit processes MeazureUp allows multi-unit restaurants, like Pizza Ranch, to better analyze what they are doing well and what they can do better with clarity.
For more on MeazureUp, visit the brand’s website.
By Ya’el McLoud